Daily Archives: April 25, 2013

Third annual visit to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Antoan Richardson dives back as Clint Robinson waits for a throw during the New Hampshire/New Britain game on April 25th.

Antoan Richardson dives back as Clint Robinson waits for a throw during the New Hampshire/New Britain game on April 25th.

Plenty of fun at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Plenty of fun at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

(Manchester NH) I made my third annual visit today to see the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I usually collect stats and then try to describe a game.  No need to do that at the AA level of the minor leagues because their websites have all that taken care of.

So instead, I go strictly to take pictures.  Action shots always have an interest to me but the big attraction is getting photos of prospects.

Ever since I got Bryce Harper two years ago when Harrisburg visited Portland I have assumed that the next phenom may turn up at an AA game.

I chose the New Hampshire/New Britain game because of the 10:35AM start.  The reason for the early game time is because NH is playing at Reading (PA) tomorrow night.  That’s a long bus ride!

Manchester is less than an hour away from the readership in the weekly newspaper (The Town Common) that I take pictures for.  Minor league baseball is an affordable, entertaining activity that the whole family can enjoy.

The weather was terrific for an April 25th morning – sunny with temps close to 60 degrees.

The two best players in this game were Alex Meyer and Kevin Pillar.  As is usually the case, I had never seen these players before so there is some mental scrambling needed to prepare.

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Alex Meyer

Alex Meyer

Fortunately, Alex was the starting pitcher for New Britain.  Kevin was in the starting lineup as the leftfielder for New Hampshire.

I also wanted to get Danny Ortiz and Danny Santana of New Britain.

Alex Meyer is a 6-9, 23-year-old.  The Red Sox drafted him in 2008 but he wouldn’t sign even though they offered him a $2 million bonus.  He signed for that same number in 2011 when the Washington Nationals drafted him in the first round at #23.  Last November Alex was traded to Minnesota for Denard Span.

Alex Meyer

Alex Meyer

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Alex pitched six innings today to get the 4-1 win (his second) against the Rock Cats.  He gave up eight hits, one earned run, and had seven strikeouts.

When I first got onto the field I learned that the Twins had just moved from New Britain up to Rochester (AAA).  My Murphy’s Law mentality imagined that it was Alex……..but it wasn’t.

Kevin Pillar came from a Division 2 college background in California.  He had a 54-game hitting streak but the D2 level of competition minimized that achievement in the minds of major league scouts.

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Kevin was drafted in the 32nd round by the Twins in 2011.  He did very well (.347 batting average in sixty games) in the Rookie League in 2011.

In 2012 he played at Single A and high Single A and had a monster year – .323 average/6 homers/91 RBI/ and 51 stolen bases.

The 24-year-old is also an excellent outfielder.

I would strongly suspect that both players will be at Triple A before the 2013 season is over.

Special thanks to Tom Gauthier (media relations director) for arranging my visit.

Here’s a look at some of the things I saw today at the New Britain/New Hampshire game.

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Danny Santana

Danny Santana

Danny Ortiz

Danny Ortiz

Danny Santana

Danny Ortiz

Bruce Pugh

Bruce Pugh

Austin Bibens-Dirkx

Austin Bibens-Dirkx

New Britain pitching coach Stu Cliburn

New Britain pitching coach Stu Cliburn

pre-game rocket launch

pre-game rocket launch

Fisher Cats coach Richie Hebner

Fisher Cats coach Richie Hebner

Reynaldo Rodriguez

Reynaldo Rodriguez

Mark Sobolewski

Mark Sobolewski

New Britain manager Jeff Smith

New Britain manager Jeff Smith

Josmil Pinto

Josmil Pinto

James Beresford

James Beresford

James Beresford

James Beresford

Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson

Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson

Danny Santana

Danny Santana

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